Law School professor urges prison rethink

Professor of Law and Criminal Justice, Dr Cyrus Tata, has urged a fundamental rethink about how imprisonment is used in our society.

Writing in the magazine of the Scottish Parliament, Holyrood, Professor Tata argues that rehabilitation should be excluded as a ground for passing a prison sentence.

Against a background of increasing cuts to community-based services, and improving prison conditions, more non-dangerous people will end up going to prison. This won’t be because the seriousness of their offending requires it, but because their needs can’t be addressed in the community. This would be folly. To prevent this unintended consequence, we need, as a society, to spell out that no one should be sent to custody for the specific purpose of rehabilitation.

The publication appears as the Scottish Government opens a public consultation on reducing the use of short prison sentences.

For more on similar subjects check out the Strathclyde Centre for Law, Crime & Justice.